In the wake of a successful FEI World Championships of Eventing at Pratoni, Italy last year, all eyes are on which of the eligible venues worldwide could play host to the next iteration, set to take place in 2026. Very excitingly, the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials is in discussions with UK Sport about accessing funding in order to host – a job it’s done on two previous occasions.
Those occasions were back in 1966 and 1974 — and though the sport has changed considerably since then, Burghley remains at the forefront of the industry. It has also hosted six European Championships (1962, 1971, 1977, 1985, 1989 and 1997) and one Young Riders European Championship (1978).
Land Rover Burghley is globally renowned for its stunning setting in the grounds of the historic Burghley House outside Stamford, and for the outstanding level of equestrian sport it delivers at its annual autumn event — due to be held from 31 August — 3 September in 2023.
Event Director Martyn Johnson says: “Burghley is synonymous with the pinnacle of the sport of eventing. Hosting the FEI World Championships in 2026 would bring huge benefits to Burghley and the local community. It would also focus our longer-term vision for the event as we continue to invest in upgrading the permanent infrastructures for athletes and horses to improve further a world-class venue.
“As we experienced with the London 2012 Olympics, the legacy of a British World Championships would not only help our British teams win medals for years to come but also provide inspiration, opportunities and facilities for the next generation of equestrian stars through our associations with the Pony Club and grassroots riders.”
The FEI Eventing World Championships is held every four years, and since 2022, has reverted to a single discipline championship, rather than the popular World Equestrian Games format that previously required a single venue to host every discipline. The World Championships are ordinarily held in early autumn, roughly coinciding with Burghley’s first-week-of-September calendar spot, and though the venue hasn’t yet clarified what that would mean for its popular five-star in 2026 if it is successful with its bid, Britain does now have a successful ‘back-up’ five-star location in Devon’s Bicton Arena, which held the ‘pop-up’ pandemic five-star in Burghley’s stead in 2021.
The bid process for the 2026 FEI Eventing World Championships is open, and will conclude by June. Keep it locked on EN for further updates and news of competing venues!